For the past five years, Growing4Life has been offering an annual Bible Challenge. My goal for this is simple: It helps to keep us faithfully studying the Word. Last year, I tried something a bit different and assigned the same chapters for a whole month. Sometimes this would mean a whole book (as in the case of Philippians, which is only four chapters) or sometimes it meant breaking a bigger book down into doable readings (such as Romans, which took us four months.)
I found this a wonderful way to study the Bible, as it is amazing what you come to learn after simply reading the same four or five chapters every day for a month. I have found this to be an easy and doable way to keep myself in God’s Word. According to many who participated in the 2020 G4L Bible Reading Challenge, they found the same.
So I have decided to do this same thing again this year, with just a few minor changes. Here’s how it works:
Each month will have an assigned 4 to 5 chapters, with an assigned “focus” chapter each week. What makes this challenge so unique is that there is really no wrong way to complete it. The important thing is that you are in your Bible, reading and studying it! It is a very flexible plan, making it perfect for anyone with any schedule.
Here are a few options to consider as you think through how you want to complete the 2021 Bible Reading Challenge—
- You can read the assigned portion every day for a month. Or you can read it five days a week. Or three.
- You can read just the focus chapter for however many days each week that you decide.
- You can read a portion half the week and listen to an audio version for the other half.
Just remember: The more often we read a passage, the more familiar it will become.
This challenge is for anyone who wants to increase their knowledge of God’s Word. It’s designed so that you can even take a break during a busy month and come back to the challenge when things slow down (Just be sure to come back!)
By the end of each month we will be fairly familiar with the content—even if we don’t do anything further. I think you will be amazed at how much you learn if you commit yourself to this challenge.
Here is the 2021 Schedule (Click here to find a printable pdf of this page)–
JANUARY —I Thessalonians
MARCH– Matthew 5-8
JUNE– Matthew 13-16
AUGUST– Matthew 17-20
OCTOBER– Matthew 21-24
NOVEMBER– Matthew 25-28
DECEMBER– 2 John
You will notice that a substantial part of our year will be in Matthew. I chose to do this because I want to know who Jesus is from God’s Word. I want to be able to carefully compare who the culture says Jesus is to what we read in the Bible. Understanding and knowing our Savior is so important!
You will also notice that I added in two Old Testament books this year (there weren’t any in the 2020 Challenge). I tried to choose short books that are easier to read and understand. I thought this would be a great introduction for those of us that may be a little scared to read the Old Testament for fear we won’t understand.
Here are a few suggestions that may help deepen your study, if you so choose—
- Use the same Bible to read throughout the year. I recommend the following versions: KJV, NKJV, ESV, or NASB. (Please avoid the Message, the Passion Bible, or any other paraphrase version as they tend to have very troublesome inaccuracies in them.)
- Outline the books and chapters.
- Research passages that you don’t understand using biblical commentaries and other resources.
- Join the Growing4Life 2021 Bible Reading Challenge Facebook group dedicated to this challenge, where you will find encouragement and discussion about what we are currently reading. There you will also find biblical resources and articles that pertain to what we are studying.
- Complete the SPECS questions—
S–Does the passage speak of any SIN to be forsaken?
P–Is there any PROMISE to be claimed?
E–Is there an EXAMPLE to be followed?
C–Is there a COMMAND to be obeyed?
S–Is there a STUMBLING BLOCK or hindrance to be avoided?
I hope this challenge provides a wonderful opportunity for you to grow in your knowledge of God and His Word in 2021!